Kafeneion (a spin on “kafenio”, the Greek term for a traditional coffeehouse) is a home-style diner serving harder-to-find Greek classics. It partly exists to show local diners that Greek cuisine is more than souvas and tzatziki: it’s vibrant, unfussy, delicious home-style fare. Its by Con Christopoulos (City Wine Shop, The European and Degraves Espresso) and Stavros Konis (Salona).
At Kafeneion, hunks of crusty white bread are complementary and essential for dunking in magiritsa, an offal soup traditionally served at Easter; scooping up fava dip (which is served hot with raw red onion and capers, like you’d find in Santorini); or making your own sandwiches with charred, juicy meatballs flecked with fresh parsley.
Main plates come in small or large servings. You might find grilled garfish with lemon; hearty slow-cooked lamb with potatoes and a pop of wild oregano; and lightly crumbed and fried sweetbreads, served with zingy iceberg and dill salad or salty slabs of feta that come in 100-gram blocks. Traditional desserts include portokalopita, a pound cake flecked with pieces of filo and soaked in orange syrup. There’s also a late-night supper menu featuring lighter snacks, soups and cheeses served until 1am.
Ultra-thick traditional Greek coffee is served all day alongside carafes of wines and beer. You’ll also find longnecks of Melbourne Bitter, Christopoulos’s nod to the older Greek generation.
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